Genre: Essay, Women's fiction
Year Published: 1920
Page Count: 114
I finished Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own and am here with my thoughts on the second half of this essay.
Thoughts Part One
If you are a women writer, please read this book. If you are a woman, please read this book. It is worth your time.
Woolf states that the emergence of the middle class woman author, such as the Brontes, Austen, and Elliot, should be more important in history books than the Crusades. She also states that women's lack of life experience hinders them when they are trying to write fiction. Women also feel that they must defend or prove themselves when they write which leads to anger that is then visible in their fiction.
Woolf makes a lot of great points about how the brain and soul is made of both male and female parts and that when one writes they should try to write a sexless work. Which is something that I agree with. Women should not try to write as a man, they should not try to write as a women, they should just write.
Woolf proposes that if we give womenkind another one hundred years they will come into their own. This piece was published in 1929, which is eighty-five years ago, and I can confidently say that women have made great progress in fiction as well as all other areas.
Here's a sassy line:
"The poet was forced to be passionate or bitter, unless indeed he chose to "hate women," which meant more often than not that he was unattractive to them" (pg 88).
This essay ends with a call to action for women. Woolf abandons her narrator and speaks as herself. She is realistic and honest about the blockades women face and the fact that they will have to try harder if they wish to succeed in fiction. The last few paragraphs of this essay were excellent and if you read an part of this essay, read the last chapter.
I'm looking forward to reading some of Woolf's fiction. I am planning to start with To the Lighthouse before I tackle her most well known work, Mrs. Dalloway .